California’s Monterey Peninsula is a worldwide destination for water-lovers: Breathtaking ocean views, meandering rivers, and the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. But for residents, water has taken on a whole new meaning lately, as voters prepare to go to the polls Nov. 8 to take steps towards local, public control of their water utility.
In Monterey, Measure W asks voters to fund an independent study of the water utility’s value and the process required for the public to acquire it. The utility is currently run by California American, aka Cal-Am, which is owned by RWE/Thames Water.
Throughout California, Cal-Am is known as a corporate water-grabber that has been challenged by fed-up citizens from Stockton to Felton to Thousand Oaks. In the Monterey Peninsula, Cal-Am’s reputation has been tarnished by illegally overpumping the Carmel River for a decade, poor customer service, and charging some of the highest rates in California.
The Monterey FLOW Coalition--a unique coalition of business leaders, landowners, environmentalists, elected officials and ratepayers--is organizing to pass Measure W and ensure a healthy future for the Peninsula’s water.
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